July 20, 2007

london floods

[View of my bedroom, Friday morning. If you click on the photo for the enlarged version, you'll notice how the water level outside has already reached ABOVE the bottom pane on the French windows. Aaaaargh...]

London was hit with major flooding today.

I am sorry to say my basement flat in West London was affected. Water was knee-deep everywhere. It got about as high as the coffee table before the rain stopped and the waters began receding.

[View from my living room. Oh, Joy.]

What happened in my neighborhood was, the sewer system was just so overloaded by the torrential rain, that it could not cope with it any more, and all hell broke loose. Apparently one street over from where I live, a manhole cover was blown 30 feet into the air from a geyser, due to all the excess pressure placed on the system..

[Kitchen. Cup of tea, Anyone?]

I now find myself homeless, as do many others on my street. For how long I have no idea.

I have no idea yet how this will affect my trip to the US next week. Right now it's very stressful.

Bloody nightmare.

Posted by hugh macleod at July 20, 2007 5:24 PM | TrackBack

Ouch. Sorry to hear that mate, hope you get back somewhere safe soon.

I'm glad I live on a hill - but otherwise, that street looks a lot like mine!

Posted by: Rob McDougall at July 20, 2007 6:03 PM

I've been avoiding the news here lately (long story) so I wasn't aware y'all were dealing with this, too. I am so sorry this is hitting y'all so hard. Our rivers are rising here but I & my family have been blessed to not have to deal with flooding. It's mostly around us.

I hope you find a nice warm place to go & that you stay dry.

God Bless.

Posted by: momo at July 20, 2007 6:04 PM

Hi Hugh, I'm supr sorry to hear that, man. Flooding can be a real problem and I hope you have a dry place to go.

Be well.

Posted by: Frank Roche at July 20, 2007 6:23 PM

Thanks, Everybody. Hopefully it'll be better by tomorrow.

Posted by: hugh macleod at July 20, 2007 6:34 PM

Hugh, sorry to hear you got flooded. Watch out later though, there's more of the same coming hard, and there may be some restrictions on travel that you're not going to like so much. Just a heads up.

Posted by: Fernando at July 20, 2007 6:44 PM

Hugh, disaster. I saw your twitter comment, and thought I must have misunderstood. Jeez Louise, that`s bad luck.

Seriously, that`s gonna really going to bugger London up for a few days. Hope the things work out.

If you need help, let me know.


Posted by: Hamish at July 20, 2007 6:48 PM

Good luck, Hugh. Hope it turns out better than it looks.

Posted by: Aneel at July 20, 2007 7:15 PM

bummer. hope you find a place to dry off and that all is back to normal for you soonest.

Posted by: leonie at July 20, 2007 7:22 PM

I know the homeless from floods thing all too well.

The only real piece of advice I have is get the soft furniture and the carpets out as fast as you can, before they start to grow anything and the whole apartment begins to reek of flood.

Posted by: candice at July 20, 2007 7:28 PM

Hi Hugh, that's awful. But hang in there. Things will improve and you will feel better.

Posted by: Karin at July 20, 2007 8:07 PM

Oh my, that's awful. I hope it is better tomorrow and that you have a warm dry place to stay until it is.

Posted by: B.L. Ochman at July 20, 2007 8:33 PM

Mate - that's terrible news. Really sorry to hear it. Today has been as you suggest a bloody nightmare.

Posted by: Ben Tamblyn at July 20, 2007 8:56 PM

Hugh - you're coming to SF in a week or so anyway for a conference - come early and stay with us. We have an extra room, free wifi, and good wine.

Cheers -


Posted by: oren michels at July 20, 2007 9:11 PM

That really sucks :-( sorry to hear it.

Posted by: andyp at July 20, 2007 9:23 PM

Yikes Hugh, I am so sorry to hear it!

Keep your chin up and I hope you get some relief soon. While a mess to clean up, I am thankful that you didn't get hurt.

Hang in there and I will try to shine some drying thoughts to you from over here in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.

Posted by: Pamela Slim at July 20, 2007 9:39 PM

Hi. Ehm, I'm an italian girl. I can speak a little english, or, better, I try. I like the way you draw, and the way you write too. I'd like to know you better.
I hope you answer me soon.
bye :)

Posted by: Alessia at July 20, 2007 9:50 PM

've been avoiding the news here lately (long story) so I wasn't aware y'all were dealing with this, too.

Posted by: Mark at July 20, 2007 10:18 PM

Sucks doesn't come close. Hope you get sorted out soon.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at July 20, 2007 10:57 PM

Sorry to hear that, Hugh, looks bloody awful ... good luck with the cleanup. After you're done, head over to Miami for some R&R!

Posted by: Alex at July 20, 2007 11:17 PM

Mr. Macleod, I recently stumbled upon your blog and in fact loved your cartoons so much that I ordered myself some blogcards, just for the fun of them. So I was saddened to read your post today. What a damn shame. I wish you luck in finding a nice place to stay. May your heart stay warm and your socks dry...

Ciao ~

Posted by: Amy Carrizosa at July 21, 2007 12:00 AM

Watch out for the stuff that will grow behind the walls.
You basicaly are going to have to watch everything below the water line.
It could take weeks or even months before the mold starts showing up and some types of mold can and will make a person very sick.

Posted by: jon spencer at July 21, 2007 12:50 AM

Wow, Hugh, very sorry to see these pics. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Posted by: Neville Hobson at July 21, 2007 12:52 AM

God that sucks man!
Bad timing too, not that there's ever a good time for a flooded flat.

Hang in there.

Posted by: Chuck Olsen at July 21, 2007 1:19 AM


Posted by: Joi Ito at July 21, 2007 1:45 AM

Oh Hugh
It's terrible
Best wishes Rob

Posted by: Robert Paterson at July 21, 2007 2:01 AM

So sorry to see this Hugh as this has happened to other family members in the past. You have a place here in the Berkshires (MA), an ocean away I know, any time you want. I hope it gets resolved quickly.

Posted by: tomdog at July 21, 2007 4:21 AM

Hang in there Hugh. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the others that got flooded.

Posted by: Paul Swansen at July 21, 2007 6:19 AM

Heartbreaking, Hugh. Sorry.

Posted by: Mike at July 21, 2007 6:41 AM

I'm down under in Oz. Flood happened here last month in the Hunter Valley. We even had a Coal Tanker (Ship) stranded on the beach in Newcastle (NSW) for a couple of weeks .
It's obviously the end of the world! Well maybe!
Hope you get everything sorted soon.

Posted by: BobSeal at July 21, 2007 7:32 AM

Ouch, ouch, ouch - whole family down here are now crossing their fingers for a speedy recovery of living space. We've been there and are with you in spirit and mind albeit not close enough to give much of a helping hand!
Say when you're on top of things and need some rosé in the South of France - time is ripe for that now!

Posted by: sig at July 21, 2007 8:49 AM

If you need to get away whilst it all gets sorted, (when the kids aren't here) we have a spare room, in York, adequate wifi, anytime.

We could have a geek dinner you could meet some monkeys. I could leave a load of cards lying around and hope you fill 'em up with cartoons.

Posted by: Tom at July 21, 2007 11:30 AM

Oh, Hugh, that's awful. Is there anything we can do to help?

Posted by: Suw at July 21, 2007 11:34 AM

Sheesh - and to think this happened within 24 hours of our chatting in relative sunshine! I'm sure someone has mentioned this but in case they haven't you must shut the gas supply off at the mains.

Posted by: John Dodds at July 21, 2007 11:51 AM

Sorry to hear about your disaster Hugh.

I'd like to add to Candace's comment.
Abandon the furniture and get another apartment.

Mold is a real threat to your health and
black mold can be toxic as hell. (Mycotoxins are really nasty business)

I have a family member who has lost every chance of employment because of black mold in the walls of her workplace. (One of America's premier high tech companies)

You are the same age as she was. Cross this apartment off as a loss and get on with living
in a dry place. Don't equivocate. Move out and move on.

Be well...

Posted by: David St Lawrence at July 21, 2007 12:42 PM

Hi, sorry to see the pictures,
just a small hint, the faster you clean the better, It happened here but with mud and when it dried it was a disaster, All the best and take care of yourself.

Posted by: آمنة at July 21, 2007 2:00 PM

Hugh, I wish you the best with this. I feel terrible for you, but have faith that all will return to normal. Have faith- it actually helps somehow (I don't know how... I'm just saying...)

Growing up in the Southern US, I went through many hurricanes and got experience a lot of this firsthand. Everybody came back and things got better.

Wish you well and hope that all works out in time for your trip to the US.

Posted by: Tim Jackson at July 21, 2007 3:37 PM

So sorry to read this man, hope you go back to life as usual soon. Just a thought: is there a way you could use a hose to help you evacuate water by taking it to a lower level on the street?

Posted by: joaquin at July 21, 2007 5:28 PM

Floods suck. Hope it all sorts out soon. FWIW, I'm with the people suggesting a move… Mold is some nasty and pervasive stuff. Once the spores get into the cartoons, there's just about no way to get them out.

Posted by: John Unger at July 22, 2007 4:11 AM

That sucks. Looks like our weather moved over there. We've been dealing with flooding for months all around the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.

It's been relatively dry the past couple of weeks but it's been raining nearly non-stop since April.

Too much rain sucks.

Posted by: Keith Combs at July 22, 2007 4:57 AM
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